What's wrong in WOTR re-enactment?

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

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m300572
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Post by m300572 »

I would hate to know everthing about my period
There we have the perfection of re-enacting - no one can ever know everything about any period - even if we know all the technical details of making armour, knitting cheese, tudor sexual perversions etc etc we still are only interpreting the period - we don't actually KNOW.

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StaffordCleggy
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Post by StaffordCleggy »

First of all, i think Quayn has hit the metaphorical nail on the head there, (Is your Sister OK mate?) & that it is always better to give people the information that you actually have, & then walk them over to someone else "Actually no, i'm not a Knight, i'm merely a soldier of his Grace, but if you come over to this tent you will meet a Gentleman who portrays a Knight & he will be most glad to explain his role to you" than try to BS your way through a conversation!


My major bug-bear is safety standards in kit.

When i first started WoTR, the group was a member of L&M, with all the particular safety standards that L&M enforced, namely, a jack, appropriate helmet & gloves to be worn before taking the field.
Now, that was all i knew, so it came as a shock the first year i did Blore Heath (our group were guests of the Fed).
We fought a group that came on quite strongly (no problem with that) & we responded in kind. I hit one chap in the side, just under the armpit & he went down like the proverbial sack of spuds, Tears & snot pouring out of his face & writhing around whilst screaming & clutching his side.

I was mortified, i got the shakes so bad i could hardly hold my bill.

Until i found out that the only protective gear he was wearing was a helmet & gloves. All he had on under his livery coat was a linen shirt. To me that is absolutely unforgivable, even though it was quite acceptable in the Fed at that time (changed now i believe). Everyone has a duty of care to them selves & to other people so that the risk of injury is minimised.
Now, whenever i face people i don't know or haven't fought before, i make a point of asking if they are wearing jacks before we start (whether those jacks are good enough is another matter). I don't want to feel bad because someone is daft enough think that facing a bill whilst wearing only a shirt is a good idea.
Before anyone tells me i must be hitting too hard, i'm 5'2" & 9.5 stones in wieght. Yes, i have caused bruises & i believe i have popped a rib or two, but all those have happened to me as well, i consider that to be an acceptable risk/end product of fighting in a WoTR re-enactment.

As has been said many times, most folk won't acknowledge a hit that they don't/won't feel so any hit must carry some wieght at the very least or you may as well wave a feather at them!
One chap at Bosworth two years ago attacked me with a sword & buckler whilst wearing only a doublet & hose, not even a helmet. When i responded he cried "be careful! i'm not wearing armour!" I refused to fight him & complained afterwards to a marshall who banned him from the field the next day.

If you don't wear appropriate protection, you are going to get hurt - end of.

Don't come crying afterwards that that nasty dwarf with a pointy stick hit all 6' of you & hurt you through your shirt!

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Post by Ayliffe's Steve »

StaffordCleggy, (sorry I do not know your real name)

That philosophy contrasts slightly with mine:

I think that it is my responsibility to be safe and I will adjust my fighting style to accomodate what my opponent is wearing and if I cannot see a location (e.g. their chest is covered by a tabbard and I am unable to get their attention to ask what is under it) I assume it is not armoured.

Several times I have died on the battle field because of this (particularly when people rush my poleaxe without armour and there is no safe way I can attack them) but that just gives me a chance to do a good death ;-)

If I am not wearing much armour I am more careful on what I do although if the show calls for me to charge forward into a pole block then that's what I will do, assuming I trust the pole block to follow the script and not put me in hospital ;-)

I am very proud to say that even though I am 15 stone and 6'2" the most I have ever done to anyone is a bruise and I want it made clear that if anyone ever attacks me on the battlefield I will do everything in my power to ensure your safety and well being even if it means I take a death when in reality I would have killed you.

If the situation arises that you charge me without the minimum armour for the show, diving head first into my axe when I am in a position which I have to keep or my group will get flanked you can rest assured that I would rather let you kill me than risk hurting you. Although I might raise a complaint afterwards with your unit commander.

If you do not acknowledge a hit I land on you I will not start hitting you harder, I will just keep hitting you in the same way. If it gets to the point where it looks silly to the crowd I will withdraw and find someone else to fight or if you get through and land a killing shot on me (not something that most people have trouble doing to be honest) I will take the opportunity to have a good death (happened twice this weekend).

I'm not saying that my philosophy is better than yours or anything like that, I'm just pointing out that groups approach this kind of thing with different viewpoints and we should be aware of that (something that I'm sure you knew as you sound like you have been doing this for a while longer than me).
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Post by Quayn »

Hmm... I think there is also a point of what to do with unpadded fighters who come in very strong and then sit there complaining if you strike back with any impact. Is there a possibility of some silly people taking to the field in just a shirt in order to 'not get 'urt' but fight with the impacts reserved for thick padding and plate?

It's also raised something else I noticed recently am I'm not sure about, I've put a post in the 1100-1500 forum titled 'how to take hits?' Like to have peoples views on it.

Have fun all,

Q.

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Ayliffe's Steve
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Post by Ayliffe's Steve »

Is there a possibility of some silly people taking to the field in just a shirt in order to 'not get 'urt' but fight with the impacts reserved for thick padding and plat
I think that if I was caught against someone who had worn, say, only a shirt and hose and then complained bittterly when they got hit that they were being hit too hard the first thing I would do is run a self check and make sure that I was not hitting them too hard. If not then I would either back off and fight someone else or let them kill me.

If they are hitting too hard for the kit I am wearing (different issue to above but can overlap) I would warn them to calm down and if they did not I would back off and fight someone else or take a death, preferably without them hitting me ;-) I would then raise the matter with the show organiser and the person's unit commander (via my group commander).

P.S. I cannot seem to see that thread about how to take hits. Am I being blind?
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Post by BigM »

There has to be some adjustment to your own behaviour when you know someone is unarmoured. But if their lack of protection is not visible and they attack as if they are armoured it is their own fault if they get hurt. The first rule of safety is personal responsibility.

When this happens I wonder what the hell their captain is doing letting them on in the field first place! :roll:

And practically speaking, wallies who get hurt like this cause mass panic when it comes to insurance.

Now there are rules about jacks and helmets things have improved, but my bug is that some are hurt because they have a jack that is little more than 5mm thick but looks the part on the surface. It will stop a weapon puncturing the skin but does not take impact. Of course a thin jack is fine as an arming jack.

My jack has taken some very heavy blows over the years. Yes I look like the Michelin man but hey, I am bruise free.

M

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Ayliffe's Steve
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Post by Ayliffe's Steve »

But if their lack of protection is not visible and they attack as if they are armoured it is their own fault if they get hurt.
If they are wearing armour that looks like armour but is not, for example a very thin padded jack which has studs etc so that is looks like a brig, then yes I would say if they get get injured by a shot to the chest which would not have hurt them if the armour was what it looked like then it probably is their own fault.

However we (my group) are trained to always assume someone is not armoured unless we can see the armour there (or know its there somehow). I never, for example, assume that someone has a breastplate under their tunic because they have plate arms and legs. If I assumed that he had a breastplate because he should and then injured him by slamming him in the chest with a spear I would call that my fault as I should not have assumed anything (although he is still a prat for wearing that kit).
There has to be some adjustment to your own behaviour when you know someone is unarmoured
Agreed, if someone does not wear armour, for example our previous shirt and hose gent, then providing its visible he does not have armour his opponent should adjust the force of his blow so as to not cause injury. IMHO if they cannot do that then they are not skilled enough with the weapon to take the field, if they choose to hit someone hard enough to cause injury then, in a perfect world, they should face legal procedings for assault with an offensive weapon and receive a life ban, again IMHO.
When this happens I wonder what the hell their captain is doing letting them on in the field first place!
The mind boggles.
And practically speaking, wallies who get hurt like this cause mass panic when it comes to insurance.
I would imagine that is true.
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Post by StaffordCleggy »

I think we are all broadly in agreement here.

The point about adjusting your attack to suit the level of protection that your foe is (apparently) wearing is a good one, but what do you do when the aforementioned chap in shirt & hose continues to prosecute his attack, quite hard & without acknowledging the taps you give him with the flat of your bill? If this fellow throws himself onto a ray of bills without regard for his own wellbeing then are we at fault?
As BigM points out, it starts with personal responsibility.

If the chap is a newbie, then his Captain is at fault, i wasn't allowed to fight at my first Tewks, even though i had 5 previous scraps under my belt, as my Captain didn't think i was good enough not to get hurt/panic/cause someone else hurt. An approach i heartily agree with now, although i was miffed at the time!

I'm not one to take a fight too seriously, Quayn can tell you, i have a very silly tendency to grin at my opponents & stick my tongue out at them!
Then give 'em a thumbs up afterwards to make sure everyone is OK... :lol:

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Post by Ayliffe's Steve »

If he is pressing a hard attack and ignoring the hits I land then I would keep landing them, if it gets to the point where it looks absurd to the crowd then would back away from him and fight someone else. If that is not possible then eventually (usually within a second or two in my case ;-) ) the guys will land killing shots on me - I just die and make sure it looks good.

If he dives into a line of poles with no armour then the guy is an idiot and Darwin is chasing him. However I would still do everything within my power to not hurt the guy, even if it means letting him through or taking a death - so would anyone else in my group. We would raise the matter afterwards though with the relevant powers.
"...then are we at fault? "
Assuming that he took an injury but everyone who saw him coming tried their best to avoid hurting him then no, I would say you are not at fault.

If someone hit him hard enough to knock him back because they did not want him to get past and had no regard for whether the blow would cause an injury then yes, that person is at fault - not necessarily all of them.
If the chap is a newbie, then his Captain is at fault
Yep, our group has a policy that noone ever fights on their first day at Tewksbury - regardless of how many other shows that they may have done.
As BigM points out, it starts with personal responsibility.
Agreed, we should all make sure that we conduct ourselves in a safe way but that also includes safety in how we handle other people who do, to be frank, stupid things. Let their Captains drag them over hot coals for their behaviour, if he will not then let the show orgainser not invite them again.
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Post by EmanwelOfGwent »

The only time I've really worried about chaps in shirts, has been when they try to barge through the line and end up with my crossguard in their ribs because of the press. Perhaps it's easier for swords going against unarmoured types. I'd certainly be seriously worried about landing a thrust on someone with no armour - far more than I would about landing a ordinary blow.
Let's remember that Dark Age types fight routinely without more than a couple of layers of cloth for protection.
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Post by Quayn »

I'm not one to take a fight too seriously, Quayn can tell you, i have a very silly tendency to grin at my opponents & stick my tongue out at them!
True, but then again your whole line may do the same but to see their faces I'd have to start fighting on a box. :lol:

You're not alone either, I've even encounted someone slamming a sword next to me as I lie dead in order to get close to ask if I'm ok. As with serious injuries, I think there's very few occurances of the piling in with no/little padding but they draw a lot of attention.

My third day out at lincoln two years previous is my only nasty injury and it was as a point slipped under my armpit past my borrowed breast/back plates. The intention was to hit plate so I have no problems with it.

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Post by StaffordCleggy »

The strange thing is, a battle looks/sounds so much worse from the sidelines than when actually in it!
I'm constantly & pleasantly surprised how few real injuries there are considering what we do for fun!

Although as a shortarse, i'll never go out without a bevor, done that once in a training fight & although i'm way too pretty for my own good, i can't afford to lose any of those good looks! :wink:

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Post by guthrie »

StaffordCleggy wrote: The strange thing is, a battle looks/sounds so much worse from the sidelines than when actually in it!
I'm constantly & pleasantly surprised how few real injuries there are considering what we do for fun!
Thats good on both counts, for how scary it looks from teh side, and how little injuries we take.
StaffordCleggy wrote:
Although as a shortarse, i'll never go out without a bevor, done that once in a training fight & although i'm way too pretty for my own good, i can't afford to lose any of those good looks! :wink:
And as alanky git, I would like to respectfully remind you that it helps your opponents greatly when small people dont stand next to tall people. If i try and hit a tall person in the belly, its probably close to your shoulder, which is potentially more dangerous. I think I've just not fought someone before now when the size differential has been too great.

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Post by X »

God, yes. I remember one bill line where there was this short, fat girl who was about five foot nothing standing next to a guy who was over a foot taller. I basically had the choice between upper-chest-height on her or testicle-height on him! He kept knocking my point sideways across her, and she kept yelling at me to keep my point down!

I too am short (although taller than her and Cleggy) and having points come slightly higher than maybe they should is an inevitable hazard. But you can always tell when someone's doing it on purpose or when they're just plain incompetent. And, of course, one should always be aware of where one is knocking one's opponent's point [/i]to. Apart from the incident above (which still irritates me, or can you tell?), I know of one other where someone's blade was parried up and sideways into someone else's face. Since the person holding the other end was wide awake and pretty competent, it caused no more than a scratch.

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Post by StaffordCleggy »

Having a bill flash past your face is an occupational hazard for the shortarse billman, but there are some incompetents who cannot get their heads around the idea of parrying down, i was always tought to keep my rear hand higher than my forward hand when striking for just that reason.

A bevor/full face helmet is the only real option though, it makes me cringe when i see short youn girls out there with only a simple kettle hat/war hat for protection. A scar on the chin may be 'macho' for me, but the missus wouldn't be so happy if she gained one!

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Post by Quayn »

All too true in regards to the short guy between two tall blokes, I tend to try to stick close to those closest to my height... I'm starting to get the idea that I'm pulled out of line and thrown into gaps not to fill the gaps as much as people seem to find it amusing with me in between two lanky tall guys. Not much a problem nowadays.

I try my best to keep safe, from there I try my best to keep it fun. After that, everything else isn't that big a deal to me.

Q.

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Having read through this I am now proud of the totally 100 perecent grass and mud stains on my hose and the incrediable (again 100 percent totally authentic) sweat tide mark omn my shirt that has come about asa reasult of sitting around in the blazing sun at Glous and Cricklade, the fantastic stale ale, grease mark across my doublet is also pretty good but it was caused by unauthentic Ruddles County and beefburger and therefore is open to debate.
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Post by m300572 »

unauthentic Ruddles County and beefburger
Beer - authentic, ground meat rissole type thing - authentic! Job done :lol:

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Post by Cat »

Watch it, or I'll introduce you to Hussite Dave's cote of plates. It smells so authentic that people run screaming.

Oh swollocks, that reminds me. My shirt from the weekend is still in the back of the van. Growling.

Edit for addition of authentic stain of eggyolk from the second bite of the egg buttie on Sunday morning. Compulsory. You always get egg stains.
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Post by Malenfant »

Gosh! new to this site I hope this works....

What an interesting (and potentially dangerous) question!

One of the main problems is withWOTR reactment is since the about 1990 no one has really done anything really very intresting (with some exceptions). The warfare has become utterly formalised the living history often reduced to boiling pottage and dying things.

I think this is partly beacuse the 15th century is just such a hard century to really understand and interpret, it really is the bridge between the medieval and the modern world, it’s a world of feudalism but with the beginnings of the industrial revolution (arguably), it’s a period with a long running civil war that isn’t really a civil war at all and a period for which sources are often contradictory and obscure in their meanings.
This all means that carrying out any original research is very very difficult. Information for re-enanactors often comes from within the group or someone having a shufty at some osprey books.

A classic example of this is the question of “jacks”... re-enanactors wear them because they seem to work, original sources mention something called “jacks”, there are some (later) surviving garments which may be equated with these. Really however we haven’t got a clue what the sources mean by “jacks” (if they really do mean one thing). You can look at the (very few) and often continental) sources that show some kind of padded armour, but is this a jack? We don’t know, yet re-enanactors bumble around in threes odd padded suits and even debate with each other who has the most authentic jack.. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t come up with an interpretation but you should prevent your interpretation becoming orthodoxy.

I would love a group to start from scratch, ignore all the later (particularly the recent) interpretation and go back to the original pictorial, archaeological and documentary sources, throw away all the jacks bills and long tailed German sallets and see just what English soldiers of the later Middle Ages looked like.

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Post by StaffordCleggy »

A detail from the painting 'The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula' by Hans Memlin shows a soldier wearing a quilted garment that reaches to just below the loins & is waisted. The sleeves are open under the arm & appear to be laced on. There are also metal 'chains' on the sleeves & both a mail standard ( a particularly English form of protection) & a mail skirt worn underneath this garment. Painted circa 1468.
I don't know where this was painted, but he is also wearing a simple skull form of sallet & carrying a some form of single handed sword. All in all a pretty standard image of an English foot soldier of the period.(allegedly).

From Dominic Mancini's observations on the Northern & Welsh levies recruited by the Duke of Gloucester in 1483 :-

'There is hardly any without a helmet, and none without bows and arrows; their bows and arrows are thicker and longer than those used by other nations, just as their bodies are stronger than other peoples', for they seem to have hands and arms of iron. The range of their bows is no less than that of our arbalests; there hangs by the side of each a sword no less long than ours, but heavy & thick as well. The sword is always accompanied by an iron shield.... They do not wear any metal armour on their breast, nor any other part of their body, exept for the better sort who have breastpates & suits of armour. Indeed, the common soldiery have comfortable tunics that reach down below the loins and are stuffed with tow or some other material. They say that the softer the tunic the better do they withstand the blows of arrows and swords, and besides that in summer they are lighter and in winter more servicable than iron'

(Mancini 'Ursupation' pp 98-9).

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Post by Malenfant »

I didn’t know about the second reference…..hummm very interesting.

What I men is that the impression we get in WOTR re-enactment is only an interpretation and its often an interpretation that was come up with in the mid 1980s by the pioneers of WOTR re-enactment. Unlike the ECW or later periods there is so much more room for radically different impetration as the sources are so contradictory that we don’t know what is “Right” or “authentic”.

Continental paintings and some English effigies do show details of quilted armour but are these the same “jacks” English soldiery are wearing? Your quote seems to describe a fairly long garment and the martyrdom of St Ursula shows a sort of short arming doublet (if memory serves me right). Surviving 16th century jacks are plated brigandines. We still don’t know what a “jack” really is so there is room for far more interpretation. The strange long tubular jack beloved by many WOTR re-enactors seems to appear in almost no sources and must be a re-enactment fashion?

I just think that on the whole (with some notable exceptions) the interpretation has got boring and it needn’t be.

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Post by craig1459 »

The crucifixion by van Eyck has a man in the foreground (back to us, red hat) who appears to be wearing a padded jack

http://www.artchive.com/artchive/v/van_ ... fixion.jpg

The Rothwell jack (early C15) is padded rather than plated
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Post by Nigel »

sorry Craig Rothwell is almost certainly 16th

There will be an anser here soon I suspect
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Post by craig1459 »

Nigel wrote:sorry Craig Rothwell is almost certainly 16th

There will be an anser here soon I suspect
Duh - that's what I meant to put (honestly) - Jorge kindly sent me a copy of an article on it a while back. Still to venture up to see it
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Post by Nigel »

Its along way for a bit of scabby cloth

but you could combine witht the armouries

and there's a good pub nearny that does excellent food
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Post by Tuppence »

When this happens I wonder what the hell their captain is doing letting them on in the field first place!
and the first question the hse would ask in the event of a serious injury would be "who let them do this without adequate safety gear?" then they'd decide whether or not to prosecute.

Now onto jacks..... :lol:

What I men is that the impression we get in WOTR re-enactment is only an interpretation and its often an interpretation that was come up with in the mid 1980s by the pioneers of WOTR re-enactment.
True that wotr interpretation is just that – interpretation, as is all re-enactment.
Not true that it is still what was come up with in the 1980s.
The interpretation has been refined and changed over the years in infinite ways, again, as with all re-enactment.
Unlike the ECW or later periods there is so much more room for radically different impetration as the sources are so contradictory that we don’t know what is “Right” or “authentic”.
Woah - stop, stop, stop!!!!

There are tons of contradictory sources for all periods (even the ACW, and that was incredibly recent).
To use your example, of the ECW, we again simply do not know for certain what soldiers wore, or how they wore it.
Yes there are records of clothing issues, but as an example, the records may say cap, if so what kind? they may say montero cap - can you say for sure what one of those was, cos none of the historians / costume historians I've spoken to about it can, despite some trying to work it out for decades. There are several versions worn by re-enactors, but nobody knows for sure whether they are monteros, or whether they are another type of hat wrongly named, or in fact whether they’re pure invention.
The same applies to soldiers coats (we have no real idea what they looked like), and to soldiers breeches (what style - the best we can ascertain is that the silly tie type are probably wrong).

Anyway, back to wotr....
This all means that carrying out any original research is very very difficult. Information for re-enanactors often comes from within the group or someone having a shufty at some osprey books.
I'm not sure why you seem to think that this is different from any other period??
To again fall back on your example of the ECW, it's far more common there than with any of the wotr groups I generally deal with.
Naturally it gets a bit easier the more up to date you get, but that's something you know going in.

Now then back to jacks, and what they were...

True, we don't know for sure if our use of the term jack is correct - we also don't know from what country the word originated, or in what countries it was commonly used - in truth there were probably many terms, and terms that we use to mean a particular item were probably used much more loosely by contemporary writers.
Historians love to pidgeon hole things in a way that people in history didn't. (Cue people in five hundred years arguing about whether a bus and a coach were the same thing, and whether a dress and a frock were the same.)

but if you tie together the following bits, it all kind of starts to make sense:

a french reference to a garment constructed of 25-30 layers of cloth and one of deer hide, which states that "never have been seen half a dozen men killed by stabs or arrow wounds in such jacks" from the ordinances of louis xi.

an order from the french king to have the french army's brigandines replaced by jacks (forget the exact wording (not to hand, sorry), but does mention the word). From an order of one of the french charleses.

and finally, an english quote from the wotr - "in every shire with jakkes and salades clean misrule doth arise". John hardying.

Linking these together gives a fairly strong argument – the first explains what they are, the second that they were distinct from brigs, and the third, that they were known in britain.

Your quote seems to describe a fairly long garment
How so? "that reach down below the loins" would mean to me 'covers the bxxxxxxs'.
In other words, thigh length, just like the two depicted in the st ursula piccie (thought the knotted on’s slightly shorter).
Surviving 16th century jacks are plated brigandines.
You sure they all are?? Rothwell????
The strange long tubular jack beloved by many WOTR re-enactors seems to appear in almost no sources and must be a re-enactment fashion?
You talking the shapeless knee length ones (i.e. achetons / gambesons, and earlier (though there may be an argument for them being used by the lower classes, I remain unconvinced personally), or the proper ones?
If the former it could just be poor manufacture, or an attempt to be able to cover more than one time period. If the latter, than there’s evidence, so fine.
And I have to point out that arming doublets appear in almost no sources, so are they a re-enactment fashion too?

Likewise (to use your example again :D ), there are no depictions (afaik) of ECW soldiers, so where's their evidence coming from?? (problematic nature of issue records etc already noted)
I'm not suggesting that things should be made up, or the old "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence" chestnut, but if there is evidence, just not much of it, does that make the existing evidence somehow less 'evidence-y'?

or should we assume that like many other things, these items that were part of everyday life, made to be used as long as possible, then thrown away, weren't kept by people thinking about how stop historians arguing in a few hundred years, and that as everybody who needed to knew what one was, and what it was used for, etc, that they didn't see the point in drawing / writing it down?
(although all that said, there are actually more depictions of padding than you'd think when you really start to look.)
plus don’t forget that as with everything else in the 15th C, the styles of drawing/painting, and the reasons for doing it, were changing.

the martyrdom of St Ursula shows a sort of short arming doublet (if memory serves me right).
I wouldn't say arming doublet - and your memory's correct if short means thigh length, as a jack should be made. (see pic)
This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t come up with an interpretation but you should prevent your interpretation becoming orthodoxy.
you should also prevent yourself from looking down on interpretations that disagree with yours, and accept that they are as valid as yours.
What is yours, btw, as you haven’t made that clear yet.


I happen to believe that clothing (including padding) has a natural progression – an evolvement. It’s incredibly rare for something to just appear.
I see the sort of garment in the first pic I’ll post in a mo (mid c15, and european), as a natural continuation of the second, (late14th, early 15th, and of which there are many depictions, both of european troops and english.

And though the first of these is european, it is a soldiers garment, and is made form layers. Although layers of linen and tow are more commonly written of in france and england, the cotton padding in this garment was known and used in england, and the large quantity of padding needed in 15th C england could help to explain the bulk shipments of raw cotton that appear in port records (portsmouth or southampton – sorry – memory going...)
I just think that on the whole (with some notable exceptions) the interpretation has got boring and it needn’t be.
quite right, it needn’t be.
There are probably as many interpretations of padding and jacks as there are of everything else.
Personally I like the one in the schilling chronicles of what might be english archers in the service of the burgundians – round bowl helmets and really short jacks with short puffy sleeves, and v high collars.
Or the weird looking diamond quilted-looking versions with quilted pointy hat in sculpture in the v&a (european that last one).

But my main reason for posting here.....
I would love a group to start from scratch, ignore all the later (particularly the recent) interpretation and go back to the original pictorial, archaeological and documentary sources, throw away all the jacks bills and long tailed German sallets and see just what English soldiers of the later Middle Ages looked like.
a couple of things.....

1. so why don’t you start one?
2. fine on going back to the original pictures, but how do you know that those who’ve come up with the stuff impressions you apparently loathe haven’t done that?
3. isn’t the proper way to do that to go and look at sources thinking ‘ let’s see what they looked like’, rather than ‘let’s prove they didn’t look like that’. IE shouldn’t you be completely open minded, and not go in wearing the kind of blinkers you would be if you were trying to disprove something.
4. what if, after throwing away the jacks, sallets and bills, you find that actually, that’s “right”? would you be ingnoring it?

and finally, the biggie,
what would make that interpretation any more valid than any other evidence based interpretation??

All interpretations are valid, provided they’re based on evidence, and good research, whether you personally agree with them or not.
Too many people seem to forget that (and the fact that, especially when it comes to padding, the evidence is just so sketchy that nobody really knows anything for sure, me included, and you included). They also seem to forget that to do otherwise is supremely arrogant.

Roll on the day when that nice journal, ‘military padding explained for future generations’......till then, as I said, no evidence based interpretation is any more valid than any other.
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Post by Tuppence »

the first pic I said I'd post.....
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Post by Tuppence »

and the second
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Post by Nigel »

Told you

and the masterclass on padding ends now :D
There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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